New PowerBooks: Laptop Musician Analysis

Apple updated its PowerBook line Monday, but as we expected this is a "speed bump" release: minor changes only. There is some good news for digital audio users: Faster processors at radically lower prices: US$1699 for a PowerBook means laptop musicians finally have an affordable option, and 1.5 – 1.67 GHz processors should be just […]

Build Your Own Audio Unit Plugins

PC users have had various simple ways of constructing custom VST plugins (including the popular SynthEdit), but now Mac users can get in on the action: SonicBirth is an environment for creating custom Audio Units for Mac OS X, via a modular 'patch cord'-style interface. The interface is very approachable for this kind of system, […]

Cakewalk: Why 64-Bit Matters

Okay, Windows advocates, here's a little break from all the Mac minis and PowerBooks: Cakewalk's VP of Engineering Ron Kuper explains to DMN Digital Producer why 64-bit is a boon to music: more RAM access and better CPU performance. If you're expecting revolutionary enhancements (64-bit is TWICE 32-bit!), think again: you'll only reap memory advantages […]

NAMM Oddities 2005

Robot guitarists, keytars, gunslings for your mics, roll-up keyboards and lighted bullhorns . . . it can mean only one thing. Barry Wood has posted the 2005 edition of the NAMM Oddities. Do you really have anything more important to do than check out NAMM Oddities? No. You do not. Stop reading my site now […]

Lemur Touchscreen Live in NYC, CDM Returns Tuesday

Yes, I fell off the face of the earth after Tuesday's NAMM update, but CDM will be back to its normal broadcast schedule Tuesday February 1. But if you're in NYC Sunday, you'll have a great way to pass the time: Lemur touchscreen comes to NYC! Share, the weekly Manhattan portable computer music/video jam now […]

GarageBand 2.0 Hands-On: Full Upgrade Details

iLife `05 is shipping, and that means I've finally been able to test this baby first-hand. But if you're taking the time to read this and you haven't yet ordered your copy, Mac users, do it now. I'm a Logic Pro user and I still love having GB as a sketchpad. The new version offers […]

NAMM Picks: Project 5 V2.0 (Windows)

Project 5 hasn't always gotten the credit it deserves as a pattern-based synth workstation, despite some celebrity endorsements from Grammy nominees Joey P. and Rambro Ramsey to South Park's D.A. Young. Version 2.0 could change all that, with an interface overhaul and lots of new features, including: Streamlined user interface: Some were confused by version […]

New Music Gear: Best & Worst from NAMM

Lee Sherman has been covering the NAMM show from Anaheim, CA all week. He's picked out his take on all the highlights of Winter NAMM 2005. Enjoy — and now back to making music! Best new software Ableton Operator FM Synthesis made simple at last. Best new synth Access Virus TI Pointing the way forward […]

IK@NAMM: AmpliTube 2.0 Guitar Processing Software

IK Multimedia has "completely redesigned" its popular guitar processing package AmpliTube. The new software has a new look and sound that should feel comfortable to guitar players: there's an even bigger bundle of analog-modeled amps and stomp and rack effects than before with a new, still more-vintage look. Microphone placement for modeling amp mic-ing is […]

IK@NAMM: IK and Ampeg Model Bass Amps

Sure, guitar modeling is nothing new, but for the first time bass amps get their own software model. If you want any more evidence that software and hardware are converging, software developer IK Multimedia has partnered directly with Ampeg, the legendary bass amp folks. (Ampeg engineers hand-tuned the presets, says IK.) This partnership is set […]